We can all agree that 2020 has not been an easy year. Initially we were all scared, and rightly so! This virus was not known to us and we were told that none of us had any immunity to it. Within a short time we realised that it didn’t react like the flu, it was much more dangerous to older people than young, fatter people rather than thin and people with darker skin. Obviously any chronic health problems could put you at higher risk, especially respiratory or/and heart problems and diabetes. We have all been told this repeatedly and been given lots of advice with various patronising slogans along the way. At present it is Hands/Face/Space – least I think it is, it has changed many times and will likely do so again soon.
None of this has given confidence or been self empowering so I want to give you various gems of information that have been researched and tested as having beneficial effect on our immune systems and even quite specific effect against viruses.
This is not to replace the advice of your Doctor. If you are ill and start to feel worse after a few days, or have trouble breathing then definitely call for help. The suggestions given here might prevent you getting to that stage even if you do come into contact with or get Covid- 19.
All the advice to stay healthy normally should be reinforced.
Get outside in nature as much as possible – fresh air is important.
Keep connected to friends and relatives as much as possible. We all need connection and where connection to people is difficult, pets become more important and can be very beneficial.
Get plenty of sleep and relaxation.
Laugh! So important. Watch less of the News or stressful programs and search out comedy and music.
Now my obsession! EAT REAL FOOD.
Nothing helps your health more than eating nutritious food. We are what we eat. Focus on fresh, organic if possible, vegetables and Fish and meat and go easy on cakes, biscuits and high sugar foods.
Sugar is not needed by our bodies and contains no nutrients. We cannot deny that it tastes good and we can get addicted but when you feel the need for something sweet you can make healthier choices – fresh fruit, dried fruit like raisins, apricots, Dates ( my favourite treat is dark chocolate in a date), honey, maple syrup, banana etc. The use of cinnamon with sweet treats can lessen the effect on your blood sugar so is good to add to cooking and baking. Sugar is better managed in the body when eaten with protein/fat so apple and cheese, nuts and raisins are good choices.
Very colourful fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants that protect our bodies cells. Berries are especially good – blueberries, raspberries, black currants, blackberries, strawberries. Apples, although not especially colourful have protective properties, hence the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away).
Often overlooked herbs and spices have many protective properties and can substantially improve our diet. Thyme is anti-viral, garlic, ginger, Turmeric, black pepper, chilli, coriander, parsley, basil and rosemary all important to include in your diet.
So paying attention to improving your diet is the foundation of improving your health and immune system but there are supplements that can have a much more specific effect against viruses and may protect us from getting infected when exposed.
I would suggest taking Vitamin D3 (preferably with K2) as several studies have shown that patients that became seriously ill all had very low levels of Vitamin D. If you are an outdoors person who gets lots of sun then 4,000 iu a day should be sufficient, if not then I would start at 10,000 iu a day, especially if in the northern hemisphere and going into winter.
Zinc is mineral that we all need and can be quickly used up when battling illness therefore people with chronic disease are often low in zinc and this can manifest as loss of sense of smell and taste. Eat plenty of nuts or take a supplement.
Another precaution you can take is to make sure you are not anaemic. Anaemia is much more common in women. The signs and symptoms are fatigue, loss of energy, shortness of breath on exercise, pale lips and gums, pale skin and nail beds but these symptoms don’t occur until you are quite short on iron. If you are concerned get a blood test. Eat some liver and plenty of dark greens and make sure you have some vitamin C as well, which helps absorption of iron. Vitamin C is in fresh citrus fruit, berries, kiwi fruits etc. If you are anaemic and get Covid-19 you would have trouble getting enough oxygen to the cells more than someone who was not.
There are some precautions that I have always used when flying or on long train journeys. Tea tree cream is active against many bacteria and viruses and a very small amount put just inside your nose is a first line of defence. In the same way zinc lozenges to such can protect the throat and also strengthen immune system. Hand sanitiser is important and the best non toxic one is Natrasan. This contains hypochlorous and is ph balanced, doesn’t contain alcohol so doesn’t dry and damage your natural skin protection.
If you feel you may/have been exposed to a virus then there are two natural oils that might help protect you, Oil of Oregano and Black Seed oil. For many years I have taken Oil of Oregano when exposed to colds and flu but in recent times I have found Black Seed oil to be highly effective. Both oils can be taken in capsule form as they have a very strong taste that not everyone can tolerate.
Amazing Black Seed Oil.
Black Seed oil comes from the seeds of the flower Nigella sativa and has been used for hundreds of years. One of the key ingredients is Thymoquinine which has the ability to modulate or inhibit high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines – and probably everyone has heard that one of the major problems with Covid-19 is that very ill patients can be made critical by a Cytokine Storm – where the body over-reacts and these cytokines cause a lot of damage to tissues of the body. As well as this action Black Seed oil has anti-oxidant, analgesic and antihistamine properties and is also protects nerves, kidney function and circulation. A dose of 500mgs twice a day for up to 4 weeks has been proven safe for adults. Half that dose for children and the oil can be rubbed into the soles of the feet rather than swallowed.
I put this to the test a couple of weeks ago when a Granddaughter came for a sleepover with a severe head cold and chesty cough. I gave her one capsule each of the two days and my son and I took a weeks course. Despite me even sleeping in the same room and lots of cuddles – we didn’t catch it.
So I hope this helps, it is always good to feel empowered by extra knowledge and take some responsibility for your own health.
Although I have written this mainly as preventative advice all the above would help anyone who has had Covid-19 and is having trouble recovering. Many people suffer with fatigue and lasting symptoms that could be helped by these measures.
Hopefully, in many Countries, we are actually past the main Pandemic and the increasing numbers of ‘cases’ are due to the normal Cyclical nature of virus infections, many more tests being carried out and also a high percentage of false positive results. If you would like to know more about this then take a look at this YouTube video. Link